Support Reclaim by shopping!

The Roseville Barnes & Noble is celebrating National Coming Out Day with a week-long bookfair promotion for Reclaim — Reclaim works to increase access to mental health support so that queer and trans youth may reclaim their lives from oppression in all its forms. A portion of the purchase price of books, games, music, gifts and more that you buy online from Barnes & Noble goes to Reclaim through 11:00 p.m. Central time October 15. (The portion is 12-25% depending on a number of factors.)

It is not too early to do your holiday gift shopping — or to purchase items for all those Scorpios in your lives who have birthdays coming up. Here’s how to make sure your purchases benefit Reclaim:READ MORE

Readings and events for fall

After taking the summer off, it’s time for more blog articles, readings, events and more. In upcoming weeks I’ll return to my book insights and cool science. Here are my upcoming events for October and early November:

Oct. 7-9, Gaylaxicon — I’ll be on a panel or two at the annual international science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and comics convention for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and their friends. I’ll update here when I’ve got details but you can see general information about the convention at:

Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Roseville Barnes & Noble National Coming Out Day event — I’m reading with Juliann Rich in this event supporting Reclaim. Purchases in the store all day long will support Reclaim and the amazing work they do for queer and trans youth. Click here for the official info on the B&N site. READ MORE

Writing descriptions that reveal character

If you’re at GCLS this Saturday in D.C., I’m teaching a class with Laina Villeneuve: “Astonishingly Beautiful: Descriptions that Reveal Character.”

And if you were there, here’s the PPT: Descriptionclass.pdf

Among the cool things we’re going to talk about is all the work that description can do in a story. We often think that the work of description is to show something visually or, at best, to cover all five senses (six if you’re writing paranormal). But description can do so much more than that. It can:

  • Continue the action
  • Foreshadow
  • Give us the character/voice of the describer
  • Reveal character through traits/mannerisms
  • Give us a world/culture


Music for the Just Girls sequel

You get a short blog this week with more videos because I’m hard at work on the Just Girls sequel. This story starts the night that Just Girls ends and follows the stories of Nico and Tucker over the next several months. After much brainstorming, the title is one again Nico & Tucker. It was the working title and I’ve yet to come up with anything better.

Here are a few songs and videos that give you the feeling of the new book plus some musical background to Just Girls. And if you didn’t see the early blurb of what the book’s about, read the post where I signed the contract for Nico & Tucker. Also if you’re wondering who did that great illustration of Nico and Tucker at the top of this post, it was the fabulous Mandie Brasington (more of her art here) and you can click here to view and download the full illustration. READ MORE

Book Insight: ADHD and the Edison Gene

I first read Thom Hartmann in my mid-20s when I was informally diagnosed with ADD. I was highly anti-meds at the time so there didn’t seem any point in getting officially diagnosed. Plus I wasn’t convinced that it was a disorder. (I’m still not.)

Hartmann’s books helped me understand how to choose environments that suited me and helped me be kind to myself when I didn’t fit with cultural expectations about work.

This latest, “ADHD and the Edison Gene,” takes his initial ideas and updates them with more current science. Instead of describing ADD brains as hunters (in a hunter/gatherer vs. farmer paradigm), he’s using the “Edison gene” and inventors. I’m a fan of all of it. I don’t care if you think of me as an inventor, a hunter or a superhero as long as it’s positive and creates an environment where we can do our best work together.READ MORE

My Year Zero Playlist

All of my novels have playlists, often multiple playlists if there’s more than one significant character. The playlists for MYZ are very long, but I pulled out a few key songs for Lauren and Blake so you can listen with me.


What’s the quintessential Lauren song? Probably one from Halestorm below. But in the context of this specific story, the learning and changing she’s going through, this is her song. I think she’d admit that in the novel she’s doing her “shadow work,” or at least she’d admit to it after Blake points it out for her.READ MORE

Book insight: FAST MINDS

FAST MINDS is a great book for people with ADHD/ADD that does not pathologize our diverse brains. The authors write:

Having FAST MINDS traits can mean there is a mismatch between the way the brain works and the demands of life. It’s a way of thinking and being that makes it harder to function in today’s world.

The is the single most pragmatic and actionable ADHD book I’ve read in the past few years. I found a lot of it extremely useful. Some of the tips I’d already implemented over the years, but even then they usually had good input. If you need to skip science and theory for now and start making changes in your life to make it more workable, start here.READ MORE

The My Year Zero cover explained

I get more input on my covers than most traditionally published authors. This is because I have a marketing background and access to an amazing graphic designer, and because my publisher is awesome. So I can actually tell you some of what went into that cover. I worked with Kristin Smith, who designed the covers for my two previous YA novels, and brought in illustrator Alexis Cooke. Alexis was particularly ideal for this project because her illustrations frequently have mental health themes in them. Go check out more of her art here, I’ll wait. READ MORE